15:27 GMT04 August 2020
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    If US state of Arizona police departments choose to withhold for 60 days the name of officers involved in a fatal shootings then an in-depth investigation of the officers must take place after the period is up, advocacy group Phoenix Copwatch member Stan Hemry told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Arizona passed a Police Bill on March 17 — also known as SB 1445 — that would afford officers 60 days of anonymity after being involved in a fatal shooting.

    “If they are going to withhold the names of officers, they should do an in-depth investigation of the officer with what their psychological profile is and what they have done previously,” Hemry said on Monday. “If they want to wait 60 days, OK. But, they better have a full transparent report.”

    US citizens’ innocence is written into the law, Hemry said, and if victims are never afforded time in a court of law, the police officer should at least be tested for substances, and their employment history and name should be released to the public as soon as possible.

    “This law is just a formality and would make it hard for people to see both sides of the case,” Hemry argued. “[I]f they want to protect officers and their families, they have to do something to accommodate the lack of transparency now.”

    Hemry noted the Arizona police have a long history of public safety and recklessness issues, and there is no reason general human resources standards cannot be applied to their behavior.

    “Here, in this area, you see police all the time in helicopters,” Hemry said. “You will definitely be crossed at a checkpoint if you go somewhere into Mexico.”

    “They [police] militarize the border states and border into Mexico, and the encounters go up with scrutiny being aimed mainly towards people of color,” Hemry said. “They end up scrutinizing anyone they can.”

    On Monday, the National Association of Police Organizations told Sputnik the Arizona Police Bill will protect Arizona police officers from death threats or retribution after a fatal shooting.

    Phoenix Copwatch is a grassroots volunteer organization that works to end police brutality in the Phoenix, Arizona area.


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